Monday, January 28, 2013

Thin Air

Author's rendition of Haleakala, Maui

You follow the earth's waves, accessing the land deeply

Ten thousand feet, the elevation of two Denver's
you breathe, walk steady, one foot in front of the other

you are patient and rest often in the thin air, for
you are in the company of a summit otherworldly

Drawn to the next event exploring cane fields and beach towns

a simple flower calls you in, elegant, persuasive to the eye
and you think, how does life begin?

you don't know it's name or species and you
feel no urge to categorize, for
now you intimately know the color of a cardinal, or a rose

Twisted barbed wire calls your attention, as it always does
like churches and cemeteries and antiquated worn-out things

it speaks of oppression and poverty, and "keep out" and it sticks
to your clothes like thoughts in your mind and
you must pull loose those hang-on thoughts delicately

untangle the fabric, to be set free

You are on an island, surrounded by living waters
a gift in its vastness where turtle and
sea urchin and whale collide

where tiny crabs scuttle over black lava rock where
dreamy-eyed children splash in tide pools and

again, you ask yourself, is this where life began?

You continue down the beach, and watch the unfurling
you apply no effort as the world continues to roll in at your feet

There is no ground, there is only the unfurling, moment after moment

You see a dog, and a man. You know there is a story peering out
behind the dog's eyes, a complicated craggy story perhaps of a master
trying to walk upright, a damaged friend by his side, and you wonder...

does he feel the way the wind whirls his heart broken today?

did he find a burrito and cup of coffee for breakfast?

You walk on

this is all you can do...and wonder what lies behind and beyond the next open window
how deep the marrow?

Whose fingerprints?  Whose underwater voices?

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I am an old woman sitting on the beach                      
pink scarf   holding back   windblown hair                   

a mother makes bird calls 
to her children playing

they come running  whistling   a secret code
huh.  a family of birds
beating wings   forever young.

growing up was a long paddle then 
slicing the wind   feeling the board   slip
out from under you

fallingdown, standing up

falling down, standingup

wave riders make their own delight
like babies   learning   to walk.

the sea pitches windflower caps
in harmony with   ringing sand    underfoot

you hear the possibility of
pure clarity, good health

though season's children don't recognize 
these   sad    retreats.   

water builds and fills your ears
for you are now    swimming                                  
with the ancients

glancing back 
from time to time   you preen
to shore up morale?

I am an old woman sitting  
on the beach
pink scarf     holding back
windblown hair

I'll sleep high in a monkey pod
tree tonight

legs dangling in silk trousers,
butter cookies in a tin under my arm     dreaming

of the young long boarder on her knees

paddling smooth strokes & with
fluid grace punching through

the    wild surf    of her youth. 


Monday, January 14, 2013

The Jimi Hendrix of Maui

We didn't think a single thing could top our day. Paddling out in Ma'alaea Bay in inflatable kayaks, we saw humpback whales on the horizon. This time of year, the humpbacks mate and give birth in warm waters, then head up to Alaska for the summer (similar to our own migration pattern, minus the baby stuff). We set our course, playing along the way. I hung my feet over my boat, dawdling away in the sun on glassy seas and chasing sea turtles when they came up for air. We were a long ways off shore, and at some point, I let my boat turn circles in the mild trade winds while husband kept paddling.

About ten minutes later, it happened. He was no more than 50 yards away when mama humpback decided to breach. I watched in amazement (thinking husband would soon be capsized) as she thrust her magnificent body into the air, sending a small tsunami under husband's boat when she slapped down hard on the water. Not much scares husband, but this time he said, "I think she was telling me    to back off...too close for comfort."

Whale Breach from monica devine on Vimeo.

In other words, he was a bit rattled.

Holy smokes...if life isn't filled to the brim with astonishing events.

Wait. There's more to come.

And it comes by way of Willie Kahaiali'i, otherwise known as Willie K.

That evening, I did something I warned my now adult children NEVER to do.
And that is: No festival seating at concerts (a dangerous place if the crowd gets out of hand).

Festival seating is not sitting down; it's actually standing, shoulder to shoulder with your rocking cohorts in the mosh pit.

There I was, center stage, front row, festival seating. But I assessed the situation; there were a few hundred people, not thousands. The club had open-air doors so the tradewinds were always blowing through.  I looked behind me and saw people with sweaty faces rockin' like there's no tomorrow, older   folks, appreciating great music...good clean fun.

This would be the first annual Willie K Blues Festival on the island of Maui. Willie can play anything, from slack key to hard rock, blues, jazz, R&B and Hawaiian. He's eclectic, charismatic, a down-to-earth entertainer who, after moving to San Francisco to record with some of the best, found he couldn't leave his home ground for long. And he would do it his own way. He runs his own production company (Maui Tribe), and has played with or opened for all the big boys: Santana, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Mick Fleetwood, Bonnie Rait...the list goes on. I would venture to say the big names come to Maui to play with Willie K, rather than the other way around.

I didn't need to know Willie's credits though. All I knew was I was standing an arm's length away from a master of his craft, and he rode that guitar like no one else could...outside of Jimi Hendrix. Riveting and electrifying, he owned the stage, entertaining for 3 hours straight, and highlighting the best blues and rock n' roll riffs I'd ever heard.

It was a formidable Willie K Experience.

Blues singer, Bobby Ingram took the stage
Willie featured a headliner that many may remember...the infamous Elvin Bishop, founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the sixties. Bishop obtained pop hit status for his 1976 song, Fooled Around and Fell in Love. He's had a long career, coming up from the smoky south side Chicago taverns to good time rock and roll...playing on concert stages and at festivals all over the world. He was passionate, funny, and gave the crowd more of what they wanted: skillful rock and blues virtuosity.

Willie and Elvin Bishop
Wait. It isn't over yet.

Willie K announced he'd like to bring on stage a good friend of his...

Steven Tyler...frontman and lead singer of the Boston-based rock band, Aerosmith.

What? Tyler wasn't on the bill. His appearance was completely unexpected. The crowd went wild...

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
...rockin' to Sweet Emotion and Walk This Way, personal favorites of so many of us, both young and old(er).

Tyler and Willie
Years ago, I counseled my kids not to stand too close to the speakers at concerts.
Save your hearing...but,
I broke my own rule...again.

I figured sometimes you just have to walk on the wild side.

Whoa...what a night.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

I Have Fallen Into the Sun

Like failed planets and moons that 

have lost their mass, I

too, have fallen 

into the sun.

Amplified sunlight to the nth power 

re-quires re-calibration, 

a separate orientation.

We, the dark ones hover 

feverishly like moths 

drawn to a bulb and 

are stunned when

a fresh loaf of light appears,

without fail


every morning. 

Who ordered all this...bright-ness?

I poke my stick into 

the beach sand,       

gather shells around me  

and take a picture, justly

o-v-e-r  e-x-p-o-s-e-d.

At night moonlight trails behind 

like slow turtles

chasing my footprints.

Light bleeds 

out of reach

all of us lying in the darkness

some looking up 

to see the stars.

Maui, Hawaii